Main content

Title: O'Brien (n.Greeves), Anne to O'Brien, Joseph Sinton, 1842
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderO'Brien (n.Greeves), Anne
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
DestinationNYC, USA
RecipientO'Brien, Joseph Sinton
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1587
Genrenews of family, friends and neighbours, advice on his work situation, vessels exploded, local economy
TranscriptCollins 12th 11th 1842

Dear Joseph
I duly received thine of 11 26th and 29th (which was truly acceptable) on 6th day last and at the same time a
Herald with a more particular acct of that unfortunate and unaccountable man Colt. We had received all thy
letters that thou sent by Frank & in Franks free, but thought that Maria wd have mentioned it to thee in her
letters. I would not have sent off my letter as soon as I did, but knew it had been a long time since I had wrote
and found by a letter Maria had had from thee that thee was anxious to hear from us.
This is first day and Thos, Margrtt is gone over south to meeting and from there to Ben Boyers [Bowers?] or
Johnson's (Joshua’s). Father and I not very well, but so as to work. Father looks discouraged but says nothing.
He never went to Buffalo untill last week and only got 1 Barrel of flour, no salt, but had to get some leather. They
things we found in the Box for the [children?] they are delighted with (and we had them engaged in writing in a
day or two: Ann and Anson dont make as good an effort as Dan'. I tell D he must write some to thee some time).
They read in the "Evening at Home" for their reading book and it is very intertaining and they hardly know
how to stop some time. (We thot a great deal of the nice letter papet thee sent with the pens: those are the best pens we ever had). The letter to Father was from me that C.C. seat When thec writes to Aunt S (Susannah] tell
her we received them things safe and we were very much pleased with them and hardly know to be grateful enough
to them all G Father for them, and will try to be saving of them for his sake. The shawls are just such as I wanted
and I admire them both very much, and the[y] are so large the[y] fit my broad shoulders well.
When I wrote to F I wrote rather in good spirits, disliking to grieve Dear Father in his old days, as he go: an
impression from his letter that we were pretty comfortable off: still I told him what an unfavorable season we had
here in Collins, but not our own disappointment in our crops. Uncle Danl OBrien had failed again and his son
John had to compromise with his creditors and was not expected he wd have much left. Poor Father, it is a great
trial to him, such things, for he has always [been] so careful. He has sustained a good character in such things thro
a long life. We received Dickin's [Dickens] Notes and was pleased with them but really think he was too severe
on some things.
Father and I think it best for thee to accept any offer they may make thee for the next year, even if it is no more
than thee get this one, as thee will get a thorough knowledge of business (and if times prove better the[y] wont let
thee ... out ... [un?] rewarded. Thos has worked nearing 3 months but he has bled a little of late and he has been
not home nor ... or two. He got A V[arney] to bleed him and he is better. He and Father purpose going down to
Silver Creek tomorrow to see a man there that spoke to Father about him last fall. He happened to see Tom at work
and took a fancy to him. He follows peg making. Tom wants to try to get to easy work and to work for one that
can pay him some money. As far as we find, this is a man we wd like him to be with: he has a small farm and is a
shoe maker by trade. He makes peg[s] on a large scale — A V gets all his shoe pegs from him. A is well acquainted
with him. Thos wants to get acquainted with all kinds of work that goes by water for if ever that unfortunate mill
gets to going he can go to work at home. I try to get Father to take care of the timber and cover it up with the
plank but we have snow on ever since I wrote last and no likelyhood of it going off till spring. (He listens to me
as usual and says nothing.) Its a pity after all your labour it v/ be lost; maybe if thou would say something to him
about it he wd try.
We were very glad too to hear that thee did all thee could to please A[braham] and that of getting up wd let
him see thee studied his interests. Thee must never write home to fathers anything but ours or thy own concerns.
I was sorry enough I omitted mentioning something about thy cold when I wrote, and felt uneasy about thee since
for fear the[e] would have it all winter: but R[ebecca] is a better nurse than I am as she can get the things to make
such things of.
The linen g-Father sent is not as fine as thee would like, I am afraid, but if I had 1 or 2 yards of fine I could
put in bosoms and collars and wrist band of it and then it would do well. Thee can say in thy next year's letters
what I shall do about them.
Sure enough, there has been a great deal of destruction of vessels on the Lake: above 3 or 4 have never been heard
of. They suppose they sank since and all; and to lives, they think there never was so many lives lost at any one time,
not even with the Erie. None of our acquaintance that we hear of.
Thos & M has just got home - Wm? &Mary ... has been here today - they had not been here in 10 year. Mary
had to be carried in and out of the cutter - her general health is better than it used to be but she's an unhappy
disposition and makes herself miserable.
I suppose Maria told thee they had not gone to housekeeping yet. M has got a place that Margt could go to learn
to sew at, but I am afraid we cant pay for her board to Cortes, altho they say they will take anything on provision,
but where can we get it as long as we cant raise enough for ourselves. Still I want her to go if this woman wd board
her, but then she wd have to stay a year instead of 6 months. Father would have her go and wished them pay, but they are coming out at Christmas and then we will conclude. How wd it do to just ask A[braham] if he ever heard
from Uncle Sam [Sinton] (and then perhaps he wd make some remark about it: but take a proper time for it). Has
he said anything about it ever to thee.
Thos took possession of thy old trowsers and after a little repairing they look well, but he has a better pair I made
him out of satinert that F. got a bargain of in Buffalo this summer at auction, and not having any wool it come
in play. Market in Buffalo is bad - it is almost impossible to sell and then have to take store pay. Still Father
sold his butter quick at 10 cent, everyone else complaining, but he had to take ... [part payment in?] flour and he
got the rest money. He got a quantity [quarter?] of leather with this. ... as our[?] market prices or I wd mention
them: times grow worse than better. We have not sold any of the stock, nor cannot as we see, and debts are
beginning to be called for. Stephen C[onger] has just come in with others. Margt Wm and Ann [Widderfield]
round me while I write. Willy says to tell J that I am going to work out in the spring and Ann says to tell him I
am very much obliged to him for that paper and I want to see him very much. Thos and boys went out yesterday
morning before breakfast and shot a fine rabbit and we had it for dinner today – if Thos was going to be at home
we could have more than we wd want. Danl has been trying but he has not got any yet: I am afraid of him hurting
himself. Carlow is as good as ever at hunting.
My paper is nearly full and my matter is nearly exhausted: Ann and Willy playing Jack straws and shaking
the table, so I can hardly make out what I write. I forgot to tell thee we have killed our 2 hogs: they were good
but might have been better if we could have kept them longer. Did I tell thee that we expect M Greeves out in
the spring. James thinks his visit to us wd not be his last. Maria has been writing to Phil. Thos says I have to write
to James and I dont know what to tell him. Write as often as thee can - its a nice affair thee gets them Franks.
With love to Abram and others, I remain
thy afft Mother